The story behind DeSoto Falls sounds like something from legends. Hopefully, you are aware of Hernando de Soto. If you aren’t I’ll give a quick run down about this lad in a moment. The falls were named after DeSoto because of some stories that indicated his breastplate was found at the base of the falls. Pieces of armor, dated around the 16th century, have also been found around the area but it’s not conclusive as to if it was de Soto’s. That of course gives way to the mystery of the falls and keeps folklore in your mind as you hike. Especially since they recovered a sword as well nearby……
Have you ever had a moment when you’re somewhere in your own state yet you feel that you are in another country entirely? In fact, you may pinch yourself just to make sure you aren’t having some kind of dream or hallucination. This state park will give you that feeling the moment you reach your first overlook. It will leave you speechless. It will leave you in awe. It will be one of your favorite places in Georgia in almost an instant. I first read about the state park last year and while I know it must be sight to see in Autumn, I made up my mind that I wouldn’t see it until late Spring.
Raven Cliff Falls is the number one place I’ve been to so far. The only way to explain it is by telling you that you feel like you’ve been transported into some other world. To me it was like stepping into Neverland where you just may find Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. The trail is 2.5 miles there and 2.5 miles back giving a total of 5 miles. The length may turn some of you off but it’s not a difficult trail at all and you are walking next to pristine water that has several waterfalls dotting along the way. Let’s just say there is so much scope for the imagination that you probably could walk the trail twice and not even realize how long you’ve walked. The trail is also agreeable for even a novice hiker and there were only a few places that were moderately up hill.
Tallulah Gorge has been a very popular tourist attraction since the 19th century. When the railway was built, it became one of the busiest tourist destinations in Georgia. They say that during that time, on a Sunday, more than 2,000 people would be seen near the gorge, at the resort or mingling in the bars. Fun fact: Nik Wallenda is taking a look at doing the daredevil tightrope walk across the gorge in the next three years. Karl Wallenda was the second man to walk across the gorge on a tightrope. The huge towers that were used to hold the rope are still there today and make for some cool photographs.
During these times, there wasn’t a dam holding back the water. It was a raw open and incredibly amazing place. Not to say it isn’t amazing now, but they say the tourism died when the dam was built. Prior to the dam you could hear the roar of the water for miles and after it became deafening quiet. You often hear that Tallulah means “loud waters” in Cherokee but in truth, the word has no meaning.
What started out as a quest to Tallulah Gorge suddenly turned into multiple side quests in what could only be described as The Great Exploration of North Georgia. The leaves haven’t started changing colors yet but that doesn’t mean the fall festivities hasn’t begun. Half way to Tallulah, my good friend Kevin and I decided to take a shorter trip to Amicalola. I have already completed that quest but this time it was a little different. As we were driving we took a wrong turn and suddenly before our eyes, the idyllic and ever beautiful Burt’s Pumpkin Farm appeared! We quickly turned into the parking lot and knew that this was going to be a great side quest. First, let me paint the scene of what you’ll see at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm. Families were picnicking along a small brook on blankets and the air was crisp yet still warm. If that doesn’t immediately get you then imagine strolling past the families, through a covered wooded bridge into what can only be described as Pumpkin Heaven. Hundreds upon hundreds of pumpkins ranging from massive 150 lbs to tiny little 1 lb babies lined perfectly as far as the eye can see. Still haven’t convinced you? They have white pumpkins. Yes, albino pumpkins are present at this farm. Also, food. Wonderful, fall food that you can’t deny once you’ve seen anyone walking around with it in their hands. And for you photographers out there, this is a spot that will keep you busy for at least an hour or more.
Amicalola Falls, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you before when I was younger. I’ve blocked those days from my mind … Continue reading Amicalola Falls